Dr Jiarui Zhou PhD

Dr Jiarui Zhou

School of Biosciences
Assistant Professor in Environmental Bioinformatics
Centre for Environmental Research and Justice (CERJ)

Dr Zhou is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Bioinformatics at the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. His research focuses on using AI/ML techniques, in particular graph machine learning, explainable artificial intelligence and network biology, to understand and predict the complex biological systems and ecosystems, with a special focus on addressing emerging challenges in (eco)toxicology and biodiversity. Dr Zhou is a member of the Centre for Environmental Research and Justice (CERJ).


PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, China

MSc in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent System, Shenzhen University, China


Dr Zhou received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2014. He was then awarded First Class China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Fellowship and joined the Harbin Institution of Technology (Shenzhen) as a Research Fellow, where he captured multiple research grants including one Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) project. In 2016 Dr Zhou became a Postdoc Fellow in the EU FP7 NanoMILE project at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham. In 2017 he joined the NERC deCODE project as a Postdoc Fellow at the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, where later he took up the post of Lecturer in Environmental Bioinformatics in 2020 and the Assistant Professor in Environmental Bioinformatics in 2022. Dr Zhou is now a member of the Centre for Environmental Research and Advocacy (CERA) and the Centre for Computational Biology (CCB). He is equally at ease in project collaborations with computational and biological scientists.


Dr Zhou is the Module Lead for Computational Biology for Complex Systems, MSc Bioinformatics.

Dr Zhou teaches in several modules on bioinformatics and computational biology at the MSc and UG level.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Zhou is supervising and co-supervising PhD students in the research areas of data science, machine learning, and biodiversity. He welcomes PhD applications in the following fields:

  • Graph machine learning and graph neural networks
  • Application of AI/ML in (eco)toxicology, with a focus on multi-omics integrative modelling
  • Application of AI/ML in biodiversity modelling and forecasting


Selected Publications:

  1. Jiarui Zhou, Junshan Yang, Ling Lin, Zexuan Zhu, Zhen Ji. Local Best Particle Swarm Optimisation Using Crown Jewel Defence Strategy. Critical Developments and Applications of Swarm Intelligence, Book Chapter 2: pp. 27-52, 2018.
  2. Fu Yin, Jiarui Zhou, Weixin Xie, Zexuan Zhu. Inferring Sparse Genetic Regulatory Networks based on Maximum-Entropy Probability Model and Multi-objective Memetic Algorithm. Memetic Computing, 2022.
  3. Muhammad Abdullahi, Jiarui Zhou, Vignesh Dandhapani, Anurag Chaturvedi, Luisa Orsini. Historical Exposure to Chemicals Reduces Tolerance to Novel Chemical Stress in Daphnia (Waterflea). Molecular Ecology, 31(11): 3098-3111, 2022.
  4. Anurag Chaturvedi, Jiarui Zhou, Joost AM Raeymaekers, Till Czypionka, Luisa Orsini, Craig E Jackson, Katina I Spanier, Joseph R Shaw, John K Colbourne, Luc De Meester. Extensive Standing Genetic Variation from a Small Number of Founders Enables Rapid Adaptation in Daphnia. Nature Communications 12(1): 1-9, 2021. (Co-first author)
  5. Niamh Eastwood, William A Stubbings, Mohamed A Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, Isabelle Durance, Jouni Paavola, Martin Dallimer, Jelena H Pantel, Samuel Johnson, Jiarui Zhou, J Scott Hosking, James B Brown, Sami Ullah, Stephan Krause, David M Hannah, Sarah E Crawford, Martin Widmann, Luisa Orsini. The Time Machine Framework: Monitoring and Prediction of Biodiversity Loss. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2021.
  6. H Gruszczynska, R Barnett, D Hirmann, R Weber, J Zhou, E Sostare, B Versonnen, J Colbourne, T Sobanski, MR Viant. Strengthening a Grouping/Read-across Case Using Omics-derived Molecular Mechanistic Evidence from an Invertebrate Model. Toxicology Letters 350: S27, 2021.
  7. Antonio Suppa, Jouni Kvist, Xiaojing Li, Vignesh Dhandapani, Hanan Almulla, Antoine Y Tian, Stephen Kissane, Jiarui Zhou, Alessio Perotti, Hayley Mangelson, Kyle Langford, Valeria Rossi, James B Brown, Luisa Orsini. Roundup Causes Embryonic Development Failure and Alters Metabolic Pathways and Gut Microbiota Functionality in Non-target Species. Microbiome 8(1): 1-15, 2020.
  8. Susan Dekkers, Tim D Williams, Jinkang Zhang, Jiarui (Albert) Zhou, Rob J Vandebriel, Liset JJ De La Fonteyne, Eric R Gremmer, Shan He, Emily J Guggenheim, Iseult Lynch, Flemming R Cassee, Wim H De Jong, Mark R Viant. Multi-omics Approaches Confirm Metal Ions Mediate the Main Toxicological Pathways of Metal-bearing Nanoparticles in Lung Epithelial A549 Cells. Environmental Science: Nano, 5(6):1506-1517, 2018.
  9. Junshan Yang, Jiarui Zhou, Zexuan Zhu, Xiaoliang Ma, Zhen Ji. Iterative Ensemble Feature Selection for Multiclass Classification of Imbalanced Microarray Data. Journal of Biological Research, 23(Suppl 1):13, 2016.
  10. Junshan Yang, Jiarui Zhou, Zexuan Zhu, Zhen Ji. Ensemble Feature Selection Based on Constrained Niching Binary Particle Swarm Optimization for Omics Data Classification. Journal of Signal Processing, 32(7): 757-763, 2016.
  11. Fu Yin, Jiarui Zhou, Zexuan Zhu, Xiaoliang Ma, Weixin Xie. Inferring Small-Scale Maximum-Entropy Genetic Regulatory Networks by Using DE Algorithm. International Conference on Swarm Intelligence. Springer, Cham, 2021.
  12. Jiarui Zhou, Zhen Ji, Zexuan Zhu, Shan He. Metabolomics Biomarker Discovery Using Multimodal Memetic Algorithm and Multivariate Mutual Information Based Feature Selection. IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, pp. 3193-3199, 2016.

View all publications in research portal